Before I mention some of the Wonder of being in Chicago over the Holidays, first some real estate updates. Here is the beautiful Residences of the Ritz Carlton, on Michigan Avenue, designed by my husband, Lucien Lagrange. It was sweetly fitting that I recently sold one of the final Condos in the first round of sales, helping to complete the sale of all the units in the building. The building was finished right before the big Recession of 2008, a challenging time for all of the Real Estate in Chicago. It now stands proudly as one of the jewels of Chicago’s famous Magnificent Mile!
I also recently took on a listing at the elegant 55 East Erie building, Unit 3203. It has four bedrooms, four baths, and four private terraces! The views from 300 feet up in the sky, as shown above, are amazing, whether you are in the Living Room or back in the privacy of the Bedrooms. Any owner will be delighted, not only with the many amenities of the building but also its proximity to the best restaurants in town, the Magnificent Mile, and the beaches of lake Michigan!
And Chicago Real Estate is booming again, with JDL Development building the stunning One Chicago building at State Street and Chicago Avenue. At 77 Stories, it will be the sixth tallest building in Chicago, and another tower of 50 stories will also rise up from a common 10 story platform. There is a grand vision behind this $850 million property, and it justifies Chicago’s continuing role as the number one architectural city in America.
Anyone who reads more than a few of my blogs knows that I support and love the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. Three years ago the Joffrey’s choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon, reimagined the familiar story of The Nutcracker – what if it were set at Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair? What if Clara, instead of being the spoiled daughter of a rich family, was Maria, a recent arrival to Chicago, daughter of a struggling family?
The World’s Fair setting is a perfect stage for the Nutcracker. The Mother Christmas figure is now the huge centerpiece statue, shown above, and for the scenes where the dances portray Russia, Arabia, and other exotic locations, Maria makes a voyage on the Fair’s lagoon to the various Pavilions for those countries. The dreamscape is a perfect fit, and the Chicago setting truly “brings it home” to those watching this beautiful event in Louis Sullivan’s own Auditorium Theatre!
An off-Loop theatre group called the House Theatre has built a growing audience over the last few years with their own unique Nutcracker presentation. It was recently listed as a seasonal “Must-See” by the Chicago Sun Times, side by side with other more traditional Chicago events. In the House’s memorable telling, Clara’s parents are hiding some potential bad news about Clara’s brother, a US Marine who had gone off to the Middle East. And in her dreams, her toys become real characters, and her brother appears as her very own “Nutcracker Prince”!
Amidst amazing stagecraft and a mix of both funny, slapstick shenanigans in her dreams with her toys and the Rats who live in the walls, and the uncertainties of her waking hours, Clara takes a journey that helps her come to grips with one of the most momentous events in her life.
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Tags: 1893 Columbian Exposition, 55 East Erie, Auditorium Theater, Christopher Wheeldon, House Theatre, House Theatre Nutcracker, JDL Development, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Louis Sullivan, Lucien Lagrange, Magnificent Mile, melindajakovichlagrange, melindajakovichlagrangeteam, One Chicago, Residences at the Ritz Carlton